Trooper Shane Gosnell
On May 8, 2014 Trooper Shane Gosnell was riding with Trooper Gene Hofacker as both were on their way to a training class. They came upon a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the interstate and stopped to assist. As Trooper Hofacker was talking to the driver Trooper Gosnell was standing outside their patrol vehicle attempting to obtain a clearance on the driver. The driver suddenly produced a semi-automatic handgun and fired it at Trooper Hofacker seven times, striking him four times. One of the rounds struck Trooper Hofacker’s arm to the extent he could not use his own weapon to defend himself.
As Trooper Hofacker tried to escape the suspect’s gunfire, the driver exited his vehicle and advanced on Trooper Hofacker, clearly intending to kill him. Trooper Gosnell ensured this did not happen, as he advanced and fired upon the driver, ending the threat.
The driver, who died at the scene, had previously been convicted of second degree murder and was currently out on bond awaiting trial on an attempted second degree murder charge. It was later determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and drugs during this incident.
Without a doubt Trooper Gosnell saved the life of Trooper Hofacker and ended the threat posed by the driver to possibly other motorists. For these reasons, Trooper Gosnell is recognized with this year’s Citizens Appreciate State Trooper award.